Tuesday, June 10, 2003

The IDF attempts to assassinate, wounds Hamas political leader and chief spokesman ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Rantisi, firing missiles at his car as he drives through Shati‘ r.c., killing a bodyguard and a Palestinian woman walking nearby, wounding 27. In a rare acknowledgment, Israel confirms it targeted Rantisi, saying it took the decision after Rantisi called off Hamas cease-fire talks with the PA. Later in the day, IDF helicopters fire missiles at a 2d car in Jabaliya, allegedly targeting 2 Palestinians who fired 5 Qassam rockets at Sederot earlier, causing no damage or injuries; 3 Palestinian bystanders are killed, 30 (including the 2 targets) are wounded. Abbas condemns the Rantisi attack as a “terrorist attack in the full meaning of the word,” saying it was aimed at sabotaging the road map; Hamas says it is a “declaration of war,” vows to “commit operations that will shake Israel.” The IDF also fatally shoots wanted Palestinian Issam Ibrahim in Jenin in what may be an assassination; fatally shoots 2 Palestinians in s. Gaza; fires on, wounds a Palestinian nr. Morag settlement; fires on residential areas of Hebron, Khan Yunis; bulldozes 5 dunams of land in Jabaliya; conducts arrest raids in Battir, Bayt Iba, Dura, Haris, Hebron, Jericho, Nablus (targeting Hamas), Qatanna, Tulkarm, al-Walaja, Yatta; dismantles another 5 unauthorized settlement outposts, all of them uninhabited. The Israeli High Court blocks the removal of 1 occupied outpost, Havat Gilad, which Israel attempted to dismantle in fall 2002. Jewish settlers rebuild 1 outpost taken down on 6/9. (BBC, HA, LAW, MM 6/10; ITAR-TASS, VOI, MENA 6/10 in WNC 6/12; MM, NYT, PR, WP, WT 6/11; AFP, AKH, DUS, HA, IDF Radio, JP, JT, MA, MENA, NHR, QA, al-Quds, VOI, YA, XIN 6/11 in WNC 6/13; JPI, LAW, PCHR, WP 6/12; AYM, JP 6/12 in WNC 6/14; PR 6/18, 6/25; MEI 6/27; MEI 7/11)